takiena_called: (The little one)
[personal profile] takiena_called
It is a frigid winter night in Paras Derval, a city near-empty of men (gone to fight a war, a war for which Brennin has been waiting for a thousand years), though the late night does not betray that fact.

Vae and Shahar own a shop, just off the green, and live in the home above it with their son Finn. And if Shahar is gone to war, well, son and mother are there to hear the knocking at the front door.

Date: 2006-11-04 06:45 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] inthetapestry
She nods, her glance going to Finn and then back to Vae.

"He is still here," Jennifer says, and it's more softness than she's shown since the last time she was in this world.

"I am glad."

Date: 2006-11-04 07:08 am (UTC)
pwyll_twiceborn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pwyll_twiceborn
Paul stirs, in the silence.

This is Jen's decision, Jen's choice - but Jen is exhausted. It's not fair to her to ask her to negotiate. Not here, not now.

And so he says, as simply as he can: "We need help."

He hesitates, a moment, before adding, "I am - Pwyll; this is Jennifer. We are fleeing the Wolflord, from our world - we crossed here last spring. With Loren."

Date: 2006-11-04 07:11 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] inthetapestry
Vae nods, wishing Shahar were here instead of in the windy cold of the North Keep with his grandfather's spear.

"Come in," she says, and steps back. Finn closes and bolts the door behind them. "I am Vae. My man is away. What help can I offer you?"

Date: 2006-11-04 07:14 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] inthetapestry
Her jaw tightens with the pain as another contraction ripples across her belly. They're coming faster now, and stronger as well.

"The crossing brought me early to my time," she says.

Too early, perhaps, although there's no way to know, and nothing to be done about it in any case.

Date: 2006-11-04 07:21 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] inthetapestry
"Make a fire," she says to Finn. "In my room upstairs." She turns to the man. "You help him. Boil water on the fire. Finn will show you where the clean linen is. Quickly, both of you."

They leave, taking the stairs two at a time.

Alone in the candlelit shop, among unspun wool and finished craftings, Vae and the other woman stare at each other.

"Why me?"

Date: 2006-11-04 07:40 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] inthetapestry
The pain is huge, tearing through her, although it is not the worst she has ever felt.

Never that.

It's hard to see Vae, past the blurring in her vision that has very little to do with the pain at all, but there is no hesitation at all when Jennifer Lowell speaks.

"Because I need a mother who knows how to love her child."

Date: 2006-11-04 07:42 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] inthetapestry
Vae had been asleep only moments before; the woman in the room with her was so fair that she might have been a creature from a dreamworld, save for her eyes.

Her eyes are clouded with pain.

"I don't understand."

Date: 2006-11-04 07:57 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] inthetapestry
"I will have to leave him."

It is harder than she had thought it would be, to say it and know it for truth, even though she had made her decision long ago to give him this, at least.

Silent tears spill over and fall unheeded as she asks,

"Could you give your heart to another son, when Finn takes the Longest Road?"

Date: 2006-11-04 08:05 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] inthetapestry
In daylight, Vae would have struck or cursed anyone who said so flatly something the thing that twisted through her like a blade. But this was night and a dream, and the other woman was crying.

Vae is a simple woman. She has a son who for no reason she can fathom was called three times to the Road when the children played the prophecy game, the ta'kiena, and then a fourth time before the Mountain went up to signal war. And now there is this.

Night and a dream.

"Yes. Yes, I could love another child. Is it a son?"

Date: 2006-11-04 08:11 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] inthetapestry
"It is."

She presses her hands to her eyes, wiping away her tears and forcing back new ones before they can fall.

"But there is more." Dimly, she notes that her voice does not tremble. "He will be of the andain. I don't know what that will mean."

Date: 2006-11-05 02:44 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] inthetapestry
Vae feels her hands tremble. Child of a god and a mortal. It means a great many things, most of them forgotten.

She takes a deep breath.

"Very well."

Date: 2006-11-05 03:11 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] inthetapestry
She nods, and lets her hands fall to her sides. In the shop, the flickering candlelight makes her seem golden and almost warm-- save for the way she stands, tautly controlled and with her head held high in defense or defiance or for some other, unnameable reason.

"There is one thing more."

Date: 2006-11-05 03:13 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] inthetapestry
One thing more.

Vae closes her eyes.

"Tell me."

Date: 2006-11-05 03:40 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] inthetapestry
If she closes her eyes she will see the green unlight of Starkadh, she knows, and so she does not, but keeps them open instead as she watches Vae.

I will bear his child, she had told Paul. I am going to have a son, and he will be my answer.

Paul hadn't understood. Perhaps no one can, she thinks, but she means to do it still, and now even to survive it-- and so now she needs to do this as well; to name the father, to speak the name, to acknowledge.

"His father is Rakoth Maugrim."

Date: 2006-11-05 03:45 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] inthetapestry
Vae keeps her eyes closed for a long time after the father's name is spoken.

Night and a dream.

Then with more courage than she would ever have guessed she had, Vae opens her eyes and looks at the other woman.

"He will need to be loved a great deal. I will try."

Date: 2006-11-05 03:51 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] inthetapestry
And it is that simple courage in the other woman's quiet acceptance that undoes her, finally, and gives release to something within her that she has been unable to feel, before.

Covering her face with her hands, Jennifer begins to weep.

Date: 2006-11-05 03:57 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] inthetapestry
Vae watches, uncertain of what to say or do, uncertain if there is anything to say or do. So she waits, her pity caught in throat, until the other woman collects herself, only to be racked by a visible spasm of pain.

"We had best go up," Vae says. "This will not be an easy thing. Can you manage the stairs?"

Date: 2006-11-05 04:08 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] inthetapestry
She nods, and Vae puts an arm around her for support as the two of them start together toward the stairway.

As they reach the first step, Jennifer stops, and turns to the other woman.

"If you had had another son," she whispers, "what would his name have been?"

Date: 2006-11-05 04:14 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] inthetapestry
A dream world it is.

"Darien. For my father."

Date: 2006-11-05 04:30 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] inthetapestry
Jennifer nods again, and they go upstairs.

The birth is not easy, but then she had never expected it to be-- and coming as it is two months early, it does not take as long as it might.

The child is small, but not as tiny as she had thought. When Vae places him on her breast, Jennifer looks down at her son for the first time-- and tears of unexpected love and sorrow both begin to fall.

"He's beautiful," she whispers, then closes her eyes.

Clearly and with unmistakeable formality, Jennifer Lowell says,

"His name is Darien. He has been named by his mother."

And then it is done, and she gives him over to Vae and lets her head fall back against the pillows, no longer looking at him.

Date: 2006-11-05 04:36 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] inthetapestry
Taking him, Vae is astonished how easily love comes to her again. There are tears in her own eyes, as she cradles him.

She blames their blurring and the shifting candlelight for the moment -- no more than that -- when his very blue eyes seemed red.


takiena_called: (Default)
Finn dan Shahar

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